Friday, 2 December 2022

Inspired by La Haie Sainte

 Inspired by the famous farmhouse in the Battle of Waterloo, and with a brick imprinting roller purchased by happenstance from the local hobby store, I set about to create my version of a Belgian farmhouse from pieces of foamcore, card, and sheets cut from those styrofoam meat trays from the supermarket - served both in black and white.  These give you a cheap means of thin walls of brick to work with although the 'gate tower' used a one thick piece insolation pink foam which makes a better/deeper impressed pattern (softer material undoubtedly).

For good or bad I tend not to use precise measurements and simply suggest "it's close enough"  (my wife states it is "The Tao of Doug"). Well, what's 1 or 2mm off, going to make a difference.... Obviously no real planning and certainly missteps in the design and execution.   I probably should fill in some of the corners and such but I tend to get too excited or impatient or dis-inspired to bother.  When the rest comes together I regret the negligence. The tao-ism it must be said.   However, it is the old-timey way and inexpensive, and it may be said in a sadistic way, fun part of the hobby. 

                                                                Early construction views:


Initial painting:

                                                                 Final result:                                                   

French dismounted dragoons (Perry plastics) advancing upon the farm defended by Brunswicker lights in the courtyard (converted Perry British Napoleonics) and Brunswicker Jagers in light grey (converted from Perry early ACW plastics). The farm will undoubtedly form the centerpiece for many of my Waterloo campaign games.


Saturday, 19 November 2022

New Napoleonic units- Duchy of Baden

Finally got some units painted recently.  Two more Duchy of Baden formations. These are HaT 28mm figures originally late Prussian infantry.  HaT has a limited range of 28mm in hard plastic in addition to their usual 1:72 scale. The heads seem too small for the wargamers 28mm so spare Perry heads were added which brings them more in line with the rest of my collection. 

The Badener Lights in green wearing both their 1813 shako (left) and some with earlier helmets (right).  The Baden Grenadier Guard are on the right wearing their full-dress bearskin headdress.  

Sunday, 13 November 2022

"The Redoubt" Beach Landing

At one point Peter's British in the Redoubt had enemies coming at him from three directions but all the assaults dissipated from my die rolling!

Prompted by fellow wargamer CraigM's pirate campaigning deliberations, I thought a 'Pirate' game might be fun and brought out - for the first time for a game- my tropical beach neoprene mat.  It has a lot of jungle print on it which I sought to cover with dollar store plastic vegetation for the 3D effect. ( really ought to add that to the long list of 'projects' that must be properly done! ) 

I added the focal point of the game with the newly made "redoubt" made from a styrofoam meat tray from the supermarket, inverted and covered in wood putty as a newly built-up cannon platform complete with 3D printed gabions and coffee-stir stick flooring.

The Redoubt with the British gunners - and Peter - trying to determine if the troops landing were allied Portuguese or enemy Spanish - I had flags for both!

the styrofoam meat tray frame for the redoubt

I made the scenario a three-way fight for the three of us, using for the most part a Dungeon Master roleplaying approach with PeterM defending the Redoubt and my British Marines, CraigM approaching on shore with Portuguese - actually Spanish (with a flag change ), and myself handing the slaves approaching by jungle and pirates by beach with dice rolls handling their activations and activities.  Due to the random activities - and with MY dice rolling - not much happened to have the various contingents come to blows other than long range fire,  so casualties were surprisingly light - not many figures were removed.  More the fact that my activation rolls for the three slave units were SO abysmal that the only mischief they achieved was to loot only half the British camp before running back into the jungle!

the slaves looting the camp only to leave shortly thereafter apparently not will to risk any more.

CraigM's Spanish managed getting to the beach after much trouble;  the surf must have been very rough indeed only to exchange a few ineffective shots with the British before departing back to their ship to defend it against a pirate boarding party.  The pirates meanwhile having another group land on the beach had many possible targets with to engage; BUT, again, with my rather low dice rolling, merely left as they came and without engaging.  

CraigM's troops finally are getting on shore.  And yes tropical waters can be that colour....

While this would suggest a rather dull affair but with the doubts, randomness of activities, and differing objectives, we found it entertaining nevertheless.

Friday, 11 November 2022

Ruined Temple of ???

the Hellenistic pike next to "the temple".  I didn't realize I also photographed my markers for those units which have "legged it".  The chopped off legs are remnants of my plastic constructions and might make these as useful indicators for other rules.....

 Having done a "Roman Temple" and a Celtic Roundhouse for those respective armies, I thought I might need to make a corresponding Ancient Hellenistic something.  So a while back now - having just found these photos deep within the memory card - I put together a temple based on a small photo within a travel promotional pamphlet.  It is constructed out of a piece of foam core, pieces of styrofoam and card with columns made from very old cardboard tampon applicators.... Needless to say, my wife, now well past that stage of womanhood was surprised, firstly, she had given or that I had asked for such items, and, secondly, I had kept them for these many years!  

after a quick primer, colour of the styrofoam and card still visible.

Certainly no prize winning example, but it was a very quick build - no more than an hour and a half from first cut to finished painting, having primered it shortly after gluing and then painting it immediately after that.  

Added some terrain basing which helps the look of it.  Interestingly, the paint color of the "stone" has not changed from the first photo to this, however the camera certainly has noticed a difference! 


Tuesday, 1 November 2022

War of 1812 Fictional affair

Having concluded one of the interesting Campaign battles between Craig and KevinA using PeterM's campaign rules, the troops and terrained tabletop had me bring out my bigger battalions for a long-neglected War of 1812 solo-battle. 

Canadian Militia (in early war green tunics) deploying within the village. The regulars of the 89th Foot can be seen in the distance.

I can quickly describe the action: the Americans with two units of Kentucky militia (poor) and the 28th Infantry (also recruited in Kentucky and also poorly trained....) came up against two units of Canadian militia and the 89th Foot. The mounted Kentucky Rifles leading the American advance were in scout mode which covered the American advance but when ordered into formation decided their duty was done a sulked in the rear for the remainder of the engagement - rather unfortunate dice rolls for them were made!  

While the Canadian militia are rated poor, the 89th Foot is good.  Not having played the rules for awhile, and that they are based on random dice for unit control, nevertheless the outcome was what might be predicted.  The Americans marched up (mostly in column so to actually move!) only to be frozen in place and decimated by musket fire. The Canadians even had the gumption to move against the rattled militia, routing them and their friends with them.  The American regulars of the 28th, not having much resolve, so followed as the British 89th, having poured several volleys into them, rolled high enough to advance and have these Americans follow their fellow Kentuckians back across the bridge so confidently crossed only a short time before. 

The Americans marching on the road from the bridge crossing. The American horsemen seen behind the trees would soon call it a day and leave the infantry to do the fighting.... The simple terrain was left over from the campaign I have been hosting.

The lead Canadian militia unit, upper left, is advancing upon the shaken Kentucky militia in their hunting  jacket attire. The other Kentucky militia is aggressively advancing but needing to be in march column which will soon face fire from the 89th Foot ( at right ).  The buildings are my old home-built models.

The 89th Foot.  These have been around for awhile as the flags are hand-painted a requirement before all the nice printed flags became available.  I have the 21st Fusiliers yet to paint because I have the regiment's hand-painted flag done and ready to be used for many years now!

Sunday, 30 October 2022

1956 Sinai Tank Battles on the Tabletop

 Of course i am all-over the map with my painting, including doing a What a Tanker!  rendition of the Egyptian-Israeli conflict of 1956 (Suez Crisis) as had picked up cheaply some 15mm plastic kits T-34/85s and Shermans.  They did not fight against each other in WW2 but DID in the Sinai thus this joining my growing and rather eclectic collection of wargaming subjects. Only 4 tanks a side but still needed to be built and painted (and a whole lot of internet research as having very little knowledge of the conflict or the weapons!)

In the right background of the photo is my attempt at mocking up an Israeli M50 “SuperSherman” with the up gunned French 76mm high velocity  I use the Firefly or Panther fire rating for this gun. They had only a few during this war. 
M-50 Israeli Sherman
 Later the Sherman it would be up gunned yet again to a 105mm as the M51 but with the M4A1 hull not the presented M4A4. All the other ratings per the rules.  However I have the Egyptians always buttoned-up due to Soviet training doctrine and their crews 'poor' ignoring all Wild Dice but one and having extra to make hits.  This game had the Egyptians victorious over the Israelis nevertheless.  The T-34/85s are much more powerful than the Shermans within "What a Tanker" rules. 

The ‘on fire’ Sherman at left, is a result of me messing up on the two-part treads and, whilst tearing apart - after the glue had almost set - had it damaged too much…so I REALLY tore it apart!  It now becomes an obstacle on the rather featureless desert.

Thursday, 27 October 2022

Chasseurs d'Afrique 1834


My small unit of 28mm Chasseurs d'Afrique during the French occupation of Algeria in the 1830’s.  This is much earlier than the Beau Geste era so the uniforms are more Napoleonic than ‘colonial’. 
I based the army as my original infantry I made (converted from Napoleonics in overcoats but with the distinctive tall red cap -see below) are the French Foreign Legion who would be sent to Spain in 1836 for the Carlist War.  The uniform in Algeria would be changed in the meantime. Thus the early time frame. Still flintlock muskets at this time.
Obvious not based up yet.  Made from Perry plastic ACW cavalry horses, 3 of the riders are also ACW but the others kitbashed from various Napoleonic bits - French and Austrian. A bit of scraping and different colour of paint hides the American-ish of them <grin> 
French Infantry in the common overcoats worn in Algeria (it can have quite miserable weather).
These are my earlier edition. I have subsequently have removed the tent roll and changed their epaulettes to red fringe and green to represent the Foreign Legion during this era. 

French Zouaves in green turbans (2nd Batt.) in 1834

Still haven't an opposition however. Sigh.  Might wait for the company "1898" to develop their Berber range or still have them as 'hidden' marksmen in hill and scrub....

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Samurai Clash

 Hosted a Samurai game using Lion Rampant at the local mini-con.  

While the new 2nd Edition of the rules has the rule's author Dan Mersey argue for the one-failed-activation-and-you-are-done rule to be continued, I and many others have not done so as the players have felt dejected from not having any involvement for turns - or for the entire game in one famous event! However, as this game was essentially a four-way fight and each player only had 2 or 3 units, I made this original rule in effect.  Of course, there were many failures but this had the turns fly by and kept everyone very much engaged.  "What? My turn again? Excellent"

One event of the game stands out.  The banner of Okudaira Sadamasa was "stalled" lacking the activation to move with the army by PeterM's usual rolling.  However my also usual poor activation dicing had this prime target for the villagers to gain victory points out of reach.  This sorry state would last for much of the game, turn after turn.  Meanwhile the other players had a time with great slaughter.... 

The camera must have been on one of those funky settings.  The villagers are massed behind the building ready to come out of the gate...if i could only roll high enough dice.....

latest ancients/skeleton units

 Did some points counting of my Ancients armies with Dragon Rampant and came up with, if I purchased yet another box of the boney ones, I could even my three armies all at a nice large 32 points. 

The Romans got an additional "legio" 

A merge of Wargame Atlantic skeleton and Warlord Veteran Roman plastics

The textured marker is to indicate they have a 'pila' bonus to use adding to their attack. This is a small additional rule add by myself.  In typical Rampant style (along with evading and skirmishing at 7+) it must be activated and successful - or not - they are used up.

The Successor/Seleucids received a third pike unit making a nice pike block and a "mercenary Greek hoplite" sword unit.

Three units of pike combined.  If together, they move under only one activation (making movement all together).  Attacks and defence is increased and casualties are spread out making individual unit courage less difficult to pass.  

a Greek mercenary losing one's head for the upcoming battle......      The expediency of creating another figure to fill in the ranks of the unit, but not having enough legs(i.e. figures) to do so - as the Legio has 10, the pike unit has 11 and this unit with only 11 for the total of 32 plastic figures in the box - had me glue on arms backwards on a spare torso and squish out the hands to feet-like proportions so the miniature would appear to be gathering up himself after losing his head temporarily.

Yes, an all-together silly 'project' but serves my 'needs' all the while keeping the time consuming part shorter for an ancient collection - and I suppose also fantasy if I require.....

Monday, 19 September 2022

The Cavaliers down the High Street

 My solo "Tersey River" fictional ECW campaign has made an appearance on the table.  Memorable for the effectiveness of the cannon fire from "Little Maggie" which discouraged the Tawney attack across the bridge of the Tam and the headlong charge by Lord Blare down the highstreet of Carweal village being met with the veteran cavalry of the Murrey faction charging down the street from the opposite direction!

Blare's troopers took the brunt of the force and were forced to halt causing a traffic jam of milling horses within the town and were soon forced to flight.  

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Somewhere south of Battleford....

The ‘birth’ of my new unit of NWMP newly painted last night.

 The North-West Mounted Police, were the Canadian Constabulary of the later 19th Century used in modern-day Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba “the Prairie Provinces”.  This is a vast area, some 1,780,000 km2.  For comparison, the UK is 243,000 km2.  The southern area of Saskatchewan, the primary theatre of operations during the North-West Rebellion is approximately the size of modern Germany.  For all this area of patrol, only some 500 officers were employed and so thus the very small contingent for my force made from conversations of the Perry American Civil War plastic cavalrymen.  The dismounted trooper happens to be a Brigade Games Boer with a new plastic Home Service head to represent the mounted infantrymen status of the contingent. 

While the historical relationship of the NWMP and the native aboriginal population was generally good, some of the Cree joined the Metis of Louis Riel in conflict with the Canadian government.  Under this guise, I created a very small scenario to use my newly painted NWMP contingent for that campaign and that of the native teepees built during the summer.

Not sure about the accuracy of this work but certainly presents an interesting portrait of the NWMP 

NWMP on parade at Fort Calgary. Note helmet and white gloves from which I took my inspiration. Actually doubtful that the patrolling troopers would continue to wear such gear but this IS wargaming and we all do the full-dress appearance of our miniatures, don't we?

The scenario has the NWMP to determine the belligerent status of the native encampment.  The camp was large with a woods to the south and unknown to the policemen, a slight escarpment in front of the camp.

 Cree tipi/teepee.  My tipis are from old conical drinking paper cups held in storage for many years!

The Canadians trotted toward the camp with careful view to the small copse of trees to their right. A high-pitched voice was followed by firing, wounding one of the troopers. In the commotion the NWMP were unaware of the firing from the escarpment (no hits from this direction at all, so presumably no effect or reaction from the otherwise involved troopers).  

The log marker represents a 'pinned' status, the blackened cotton ball (those often stuffed in oversized pill bottles are wonderful for this purpose) represents a shot from the Cree hidden in the trees. The troopers are converted from Perry plastic American Civil War cavalrymen. While the mounted fellows have retained their heavy gloves (which I have given them from 'green stuff') their dismounted companion has placed his under his belt on the back - also green stuff.

Recovering their motivation (making the pinning test) they moved away from the fire and toward the camp.  More firing came from the woods but to no effect. However the troopers were now startled from the close range fire from the hidden position in front of them, and the same trooper was again hit ( I diced to see which of the three would be hit)  Pinned once again, they waited the Cree reaction but none was forthcoming.  Unbeknown, the Cree were short of ammunition and arrows thus equally unable to continue the fight. (I rolled very low for the amount of shots the Cree could deliver)

But the policemen had their answer about the Cree attitude and decided to quickly retire to report. ( I rolled maximum on the dice for their morale/activation!)

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

A small affair in Saskatchewan

 Wanting to entertain the boys having traveled many hours, I took the time late night to set up another small game for the morning after breakfast before we set off for the local hobby store (opening late at noon) 

(for other games played during "Dougfest" see previous posts)

I picked a recent personal favourite in the Canadian Northwest Rebellion of 1885.  The scenario was simple. Each player had two units of infantry to approach and protect a wagon abandoned previously from opposite directions.  The enemy Metis had predetermined ambush points.  We played with the "Men Who Would Be Kings" rules.  

Fun little affair.  I played the Metis who were given ammuntion restrictions, the single threat to James's contingent fired their one shot and then departed! He was slightly delayed with one unit who had to deal with them....

the other Metis group had more shots and forced one of Seth's green/black-clad Rifle units to continually fail their morale and fall back.  But the wagon was saved and the newspapers back home rejoiced in the "great victory"

The Canadian Militia of 1885 and part of JamesC's command. In the background the second group is approaching the hill from which they took fire (the smoke cotton ball in the far distance indicates Metis fire)

SethT's Canadian Rifles in action. The 'log' marker indicates they are currently "Pinned". His other unit is assaulting the Metis position indicated by the 'smoke balls'.  
The figures are Perry plastic American Civil War Union types with new glengarry headdresses added by me with Green Stuff.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Chattanooga - Napoleonic style

 Having the guys commit to a full weekend, I set up a secondary game should we need in addition to the larger affair earlier (see post: the big game  ).  I set up a 'bathtub' version of the American Civil War version of Chattanooga.  

In this scenario, the Union would have the advantage of not only the numbers historically but with the rules, multiple commands giving much better tactical maneuver.  The Confederate commander would, regardless of the position of his General, have most of his spread out troops out of command radius and thus less likely to be allowed tactical positioning.  He would be always be forced to only command those troops most needing and leaving the others to the tender mercies of the opposition. 

The scenario roughly follows that of the historical battle.  The Confederates had the Missionary Ridge position in the centre with slightly forward positions of Lookout Mountain on the left and Tunnel Hill on the right held by, in our game by the Brunswickers and Highlanders respectively. While the Dutch-Belgians held the centre ridge. To represent the unexpected rapid collapse of the Confederates on the ridge, I had their combat rating undetermined until contact so even their commander would not know how much they could be relied upon. 

The Union were in three commands: Hooker with his Westphalians would attack Lookout Mountain; Sherman and his Napoleonic Minor States contingent would attack the Highlanders representing the steady troops of Cleburne.  In the middle under the fortifications of Chattanooga was Thomas and the artillery.  In the actual battle a portion of the troops would make a demonstration on the lower slopes of ridge, get shot at and as a un-commanded response charge up the hill and rout the Confederates! I had Thomas' troops ability to do the same (but in future games restrict him even further as this push made all Confederate resistance futile)

We ended up playing two games of this. One Friday night and the other Saturday.  Both followed the historical narrative.  The boys seemed to have quite a bit of fun with these smaller 'fast' games.

part of "Hooker's" Westphalians 

Westhphalians vs Bruswickers defending Lookout Mountain (my command...and my favourite Napoleonic the somber black. Converted plastics)

a mid-battle overview with Thomas's troops in the centre having left their entrenchments and attacking the Ridge (right of photo), and 'Sherman's' troops slowly marching to assault the British Highlanders on Tunnel Hill (upper right).  Lookout Mountain is off-camera lower left.

You can view DavidB's blog at  David's narrative  for more on this scenario